The USA has 62 national parks, many of which are situated in the Southwest. From desert dunes to red rock canyons, we’ve rounded up four secluded, Southwestern United States National Parks to visit, and nearby luxe hotels to spend the night (for, of course, whenever you feel comfortable traveling again):
Arches National Park
Arches National Park: Chances are you’ve probably seen a screensaver of the preserve’s most iconic formation, Delicate Arch (pictured), in the past. This Utah playground is full of sunset-like colors and boasts more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches within its boundaries. Due to its absence of light pollution that grants constellation-abundant skies, the Moab-adjacent reserve was accoladed the highly esteemed title of an “International Dark Sky Park.”
To Stay: Under Canvas Moab (@undercanvasofficial) — remote glamping under the stars.
White Sands National Park
White Sands National Park: The newest national park to the collection, this New Mexico preserve contains the world’s largest gypsum dune field (a rare rock material that reflects light, giving the dunes a glistened look). When visiting, travelers can drive along the eight-mile Dunes Drive to witness the more-than-10,000-year-old sand formations. Make sure to rent a plastic sled to slide down the dunes — it’s a blast.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park: Located in Southern Arizona, this wonderland is known for its Giant Saguaro Cactus Forest, which boasts swaths of the quintessential-to-the-southwest plant. With both its mountain and desert terrain, elevations within the park surpass 8,000 feet, allowing for a wide range of flora & fauna on its premises, including black bear, desert tortoise, Mexican spotted owl, and javelina.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park: An expansive reserve in Southern Utah, this national park is known for its crimson- and orange-hued hoodoos, or spire-shaped rock formations. Those seeking an adrenaline boost should consult a local guide for off-roading.
With these four Southwestern United States National Parks to visit, we recommend, if traveling, you research local health and safety guidelines prior to making a decision about your trip.